Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (535)

Michael McGrath

Question:

535. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to allow persons on invalidity pension to work for rehabilitative purposes without the need to transfer across to the partial capacity benefit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51874/18]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

Invalidity Pension is a pension paid to people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness. It is based on a claimant's social insurance contributions and is not means tested. To qualify for award of Invalidity Pension a claimant must satisfy both PRSI contribution and medical conditions.

Invalidity Pension is for people who are permanently incapable of work and is generally paid to pension age. To qualify for Invalidity Pension a person must have an incapacity for work of such a nature that the likelihood is that the claimant will be incapable of work for life, or an incapacity which has existed for 12 months prior to the date of claim, and where the Deciding Officer or an Appeals Officer is satisfied that the claimant is likely to be unable to work for 1 year from the date of claim.

Where a person with a disability wishes to return to work they may apply for Partial Capacity Benefit (PCB).   PCB allows people to continue to receive a percentage of their Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension payment while working. Participation on the PCB scheme is voluntary. A person who participates on the PCB scheme may return to an Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension payment if, for example, the employment ceases or if the person cannot continue to work.

It is not intended to change the Invalidity Pension payment to remove the requirement to apply for Partial Capacity Benefit where persons wish to take up paid employment.